The Band of Heathens – Top Hat Crown and The Clapmaster`s Son

April 21, 2011  
Filed under Music, Top Story

Picked up the new Band of Heathens album last weekend, titled Top Hat Crown & The Clapmaster`s Son. I haven`t heard Band of Heathens before, but been meaning to check them out. Hearing some good buzz about them around town (Austin). The clincher that tip me over to an actual purchase was the attractive cover, a watercolor of a top hat by Joshua Marc Levy.

This is my first listen, but comparisons to Leon Russell are apt, then I thought of Dr. John also. This is the best example of New Americana I`ve heard of in some time. The last best example of Americana (in my mind) is Big Whiskey by the Dave Matthews Band. And don`t forget The Band, probably the best or most classic example of Americana.

I haven`t had enough time to break the record down yet (that may be a blessing), but just off the top of my head, the musicianship is marvelous. Right now, I`m favoring the final track, Gris Gris Satchel – just a bit gospel, great harmonies, and slow pacing sustains the mood. Come to think of it, the first three cuts are strong: Medicine Man, Should Have Known and Polaroid. Looks like Band of Heathens is heading for Germany in May. Would a writer please review their record?

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